Altered pharmacology and distinct coactivator usage for estrogen receptor-dependent transcription through activating protein-1

Edwin Cheung, Mari Luz Acevedo, Philip A. Cole, W. Lee Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Estrogen signaling occurs through at least two distinct molecular pathways: (i) direct binding of liganded estrogen receptors (ERs) to estrogen-responsive DMA elements (EREs) (the "ER ERE pathway") and (ii) indirect recruitment of liganded ERs to activating protein-1 (AP-1)-responsive DMA elements via heterodimers of Fos and Jun (the "ER AP-1 pathway"). We have developed a biochemical assay for examining ligand-regulated transcription by ERs in the ER/AP-1 pathway. This assay recapitulates the altered (i.e., agonistic) pharmacology of selective estrogen receptor modulator drugs in this pathway reported previously by using various cell-based assays. We used our biochemical assay to examine the detailed mechanisms of ER/AP-1-dependent transcription. Our studies indicate that (i) ERα AP-1 complexes play a critical role in promoting the formation of stable RNA polymerase II preinitiation complexes leading to transcription initiation, (ii) chromatin is a key determinant of estrogen and selective estrogen receptor modulator signaling in the EIRα, AP-1 pathway, (iii) distinct domains of ERα are required for recruitment to DMA-bound Fos/Jun heterodimers and transcriptional activation at AP-1 sites, and (iv) different enhancer/activator combinations in the ERα and AP-1 pathways use coactivators in distinct ways. These studies have increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying ligand-dependent signaling in the ER/AP-1 pathway and demonstrate the usefulness of this biochemical approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-564
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 18 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromatin
  • Enhancer
  • Fos/Jun heterodimers
  • Histone acetyltransferase
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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